The Plaguereaper, Part IX

Hmmmmm... I seem to have been kicked off the BoLS blog list.

On a related note, a lot of the blogs on the side seem to have fallen on the wayside. Anyone got a favorite site they could recommend? I’ve got one or two of my own, but I’ll probably be editing that list later this week. Please speak up if you think being listed here would help your site in the slightest...

Anyway... Time to finish off the Plaguereaper once and for all...

(I wonder how many Guardsman have died saying that...?)

First off, I needed hoses. I thought of a few different options and came up with this... I went to my local 99 Cent Store and bought a little four-foot Edison extension cord. My clippers took the ends off with no problem. Then I used an old hobby blade to cut between the two legs of the cord. The cord came right apart into two lengths with about a 3/16” diameter.

I used my drill to make two starter holes in the surface of each vat. I wanted the holes by the side I’d designated the back. Then I used the hobby knife to slowly widen the holes, just scraping it back and forth, until they fit the cord with no problem. Once that was set, I put some corresponding holes in the turret base. The corrosion patterns I made in the armor help with this, because I can hide the holes a little better.

I also just came up with a wonderfully twisted idea. There aren’t any tall pipes on the exhaust system I built on the engine block. It’s easy enough to take rolled-up paper and make those, if you wanted such a thing. I’m going to put two holes in the back of the turret base and run hoses from the engine back into the main hull, as if they’re either mixing the exhaust into the pus cannon spray or maybe just pumping it right into the crew compartment. Either way, it’s a very Nurgle idea.

With all those holes cut and sized, I glued the vats on behind the sponsons. It’s not a perfect fit, but there’s enough on one side of the vat for them to grab. I raised them up a bit higher than the sponson itself, but not higher than the lascannon turret. Once these were in place I held them for about ten minutes to make them solid.

Next, I cut off six lengths of the cord about 5” each. Because of the wire inside it, this will hold a curve pretty well on this scale. I bent it into angles that worked well and attached The extra amount can go into the hole on either end.

Helpful Hint – You need to use superglue to get the rubber-coated cord to stick to cardboard. Use more than you normally would, because about half of it’s going to soak right into the card.

I started with the back exhaust pipes to give the vats a little more time to dry. I got a good sense of how I wanted the hose to sit and glued accordingly. Then I did the vats. I was careful to make sure the front-most hoses didn’t impede the lascannons’ movement.

Next up was the turret itself. Keep this next bit in mind, those of you who are feeling bitter and perhaps a bit betrayed that this became a Chaos project. I figured out how to build and assemble the Baneblade cannon and the gunshield just for you people reading this. I didn’t need it. I could’ve had a toilet paper tube in there. But I didn’t want to screw over anyone who was hoping to get an Imperial tank out of this.


I used the drill again to make starter holes and used the knife to enlarge them. I knew a lot of the turret’s front was going to vanish under green stuff, so I tried to set these holes a little farther back. I also made sure there were seven of them.

You know why.

I cut the cord a little long this time, because I knew I’d be using it to help bulk out the pus cannon. Starting at the top, I bent the cord to the shape I wanted and glued it along the barrel of the Baneblade cannon. Then I worked down each side. I tried to make sure each hose had a different bend and hit the barrel at a different place. I wanted this to feel very organic—grown, not manufactured.

Next I built up the muzzle and the base of the barrel with some tinfoil. I wanted the base to be more rounded and for the muzzle to be a bit more... well, also organic.

Helpful Hint—When we do stuff with tinfoil, there’s sort of this instinctive desire to crush and compact it. To cram it into ever corner. Don’t worry about leaving it a bit loose. It’s a frame, and not even a structural one.

I started at the muzzle and put the green stuff on in all small patches, the size of a marble at most. I used my sculpting tool to carve some thick ridges/veins into the green stuff. This pus cannon should match the one I built for the Plague Tower, and that one had a creepy, muscley look to it. I also wanted all the hoses and cables to still be visible under the “skin” of this thing, so working with smaller pieces let me make sure I kept the basic shape.

This Is ImportantIf you’ve worked with green stuff before, you know you always want to use some agent like water or thin oil on your tools. Be very careful doing this when you use green stuff on a paperhammer model. A few drops of water could make a panel warp or swell—not in a good way. Keep a paper towel handy and make sure your tools aren’t any wetter than they have to be.

I let the front half dry overnight and then started working on the back half. It ended up still being tricky because we’re in the middle of a heat wave. Using more little marbles and peas of green stuff, I worked the muscle-texture under the tubes. This helped create the effect that the hoses are running into the pus cannon’s barrel like capillaries. Once I had that I worked it back up onto the turret itself to give it a solid base and add to the organic look.

Helpful Hint—One thing I realized after the fact—the turret is now very front-heavy. It’s not immediately apparent, but it does lean forward a fair amount. In retrospect, I should’ve thought about putting some sort of counterweight in the back (I still might). Of course, then that doubles the weight of the whole turret and I need to consider structural integrity. I shall post notes if this goes horribly right or wrong...

There were three Nurglings in my jar o’ Chaos bits, leftover from my Death Guard army. I drilled holes just like I did for the hoses and glued them onto the Plaguereaper at a few key points. I may add more if I stumble across them.

I used a few more threads of green stuff here and there to give the whole model some more texture and also to shore up a few points. It’s pretty (in a Nurgle sort of way) but green stuff is structural, too. I also dropped in a few last rivets here and there to make Nurgle icons.

Alas, I really wanted to have it painted for this last bit—at least a basecoat and a few details—but as I mentioned we’re having a bit of a heat wave and I am in the desert. It’s that ugly kind of heat where primer dries in the air between the can and the model and you end up with a coarse base. And after all this work, I didn’t feel like risking the Plaguereaper would end up all... well, wrong. You know what I mean.

So, for now, this model is done. Although I’ll definitely link over to Atomic Warlords when it’s all painted up and on the field melting Jeff’s Space Wolves or Matt’s Blood Angels. Some final thoughts...

I think this is a fantastic template, despite all the extra work for the treads and weapons. To be honest, there was a lot of hand-wringing about whether or not I wanted to convert this into a Plaguereaper. But, in the long run, I think it’s better that the mess-ups happen on a model that’s going to look messy anyway. Maybe somewhere down the road I’ll build a loyalist Baneblade using what I learned off this one. If you ever wanted a Baneblade and couldn’t afford it, download this template by JSVIronFurnace and start printing.

How much did it cost me in the end? The cardstock was free—harvested from boxes for cereal or frozen pizza. I bought one bottle of glue, that extension cord, and used about four dollars worth of green stuff. So if I round up, financially, this model cost maybe ten bucks (not counting eventual paint). Timewise, I’m going to err on the side of caution and say I spent maybe fifty hours on this altogether. That includes some drying time, too.

Completely worth it, in my opinion.

Next time... something different. Finally.


  1. And if anyone knows how to make Blogspot display full-size pictures again, I'd appreciate the tip. ;)

  2. "If you ever wanted a Baneblade and couldn’t afford it, download this template and start printing." Where is the link to the template?

  3. So sorry, Stephen. The first post on this project directed people to Paperhammer.com. Alas, they ended up going belly-up.

    You can find it a few places, but the easiest is over at the BWC Archives. It's a Yahoo group with a bunch of available templates.

    The one I used is the DIY Baneblade by JVSIronFurnace. Keep in mind, though, that I still added quite a bit to his template, including the treads and weapons. If you want to duplicate what I did, you'll have to keep referring back here.